Claims tour

Sometimes while I'm testing a new application, I struggle to get started. To help me focus and better understand my testing, I use application tours to support my testing. One the tours that I use is the claims tour.

In the claims tour you attempt to find all the information in the product that tells you what the product does. This is helpful in checking for product consistency. If a product is inconsistent with claims, then it is inconsistent with explicit or implicit claims made by the product. In the claims tour, you are looking to not only identify what the claims are, but you can also attempt to identify which claims are vague, possibly incomplete, or even inconsistent.

Explicit claims can often be found in help material, marketing material, training material, tool tips, or even magazine articles (reviews of your product). An implicit claim can be found when your product has uses industry terminology, has a common look and feel, performs common and well understood functionality, or has a feature set that is could be considered to be well understood.

For a more descriptive look at using application tours, see an article I did for Software Test and Performance a few years ago. (It starts on page 20.)
HeuristicsMichael Kelly